Barcelona are finally making moves in the transfer market after a summer of huge speculation surrounding the Catalan giants and their proposed targets for the 2022-23 season.
The Catalan giants have made a €58 million bid for Leeds United attacker Raphinha, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano. The offer is for a fixed fee of €58m plus €10m in potential bonuses.
Romano adds the deal is now in its “final stages” and “all parties [are] waiting for Barça to be able and ready to register Raphinha.” The Brazilian will become Barcelona’s third signing of summer 2022, following free agents Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen to the Camp Nou.
Raphinha is currently training at Leeds but has been left out of the travelling squad for the team’s pre-season tour to Australia which suggests a summer exit from Elland Road is close.
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Deco Plays Key Role in Transfer
Former Barcelona playmaker Deco has played a key role in the transfer. The former Portugal international is Raphinha’s agent and intervened when it looked as though Chelsea were going to win the race for the 25-year-old, according to Diario Sport.
Leeds were not happy with Barcelona’s initial offer of €40m or with the fact the Catalans may have to delay the transfer until they had managed to sell off more assets to raise funds.
However, Deco made it clear to the Premier League side that Raphinha “would only leave the club to become a Barça player” and demanded “further negotiations” between the two sides.
Raphinha also then met with Leeds coach Jesse March and informed the manager he did not want to stay with the Premier League club for another season. Barcelona then made a “final push” for Raphinha with a new offer they expect to be accepted.
Barcelona To Sign Raphinha & Dembele?
Barcelona had been keen to sign Raphinha as a replacement for Ousmane Dembele but it appears that Xavi could have both attackers in his first-team squad for the new La Liga season.
Dembele was spotted arriving back in Barcelona on Sunday, July 10 amid increasing speculation he will sign a new contract at the Camp Nou. The Frenchman is currently a free agent after his previous deal expired at the end of June.
The 25-year-old will sign a two-year contract at the Camp Nou that includes a significant pay cut, according to French newspaper L’Equipe. However, if the attacker hits all of his bonuses he could still earn a salary of around €10m.
Dembele has been plagued by injury during his time at Barcelona but managed to return to full fitness in the second half of last season. The attacker went on to impress with Xavi’s side and finished the campaign top of the assists charts in La Liga.
Adding both Raphinha and Dembele to the squad will mean Xavi has a wealth of attacking options for the new campaign. Barca already have Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Memphis Depay available and continue to be linked with a move for Robert Lewandowski.